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How do I wash Quinoa?

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 

I just purchased some organic quinoa from my HFS and haven't the slightest idea how I'm supposed to go about washing it! Do I just rinse it? Do I have to soak it? Help, please

 

 

 

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post #2 of 52
I put a few paper towels or some cheesecloth in a colander. I rinse it well, tossing it around with my hands and then cook it.



Can anyone tell me why I'm washing it?
post #3 of 52
I put it in a sieve and run it under the tap for a minute or two while stirring the grain around with my fingers.



You don't have to soak quinoa before cooking it.
post #4 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rincaro View Post

Can anyone tell me why I'm washing it?



Quinoa has a natural protective coating called saponin which is very bitter. I don't think you'd enjoy eating it!
post #5 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgnwitch View Post

I put it in a sieve and run it under the tap for a minute or two while stirring the grain around with my fingers.



You don't have to soak quinoa before cooking it.



Lovely! Thanks!
post #6 of 52
The main problem with rinsing quinoa is that the grains are so small they will often slip through many sieves or strainers, or get stuck in the holes. I had to look around carefully to find a fine-mesh strainer that was appropriate. Another thing you might use--although this sounds silly--is one of those "permanent" coffee filters for a drip coffee maker, the kind they sell to use if you do not want to use paper filters. The mesh in them is fine enough to hold coffee grounds, so fine enough to hold quinoa. Another option is to use two strainers, one to use normally, and the second to catch the grains that fall through the first one.
post #7 of 52
This is why I have had quinoa exactly once.
post #8 of 52
any double mesh strainer should work fine
post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgnwitch View Post

Quinoa has a natural protective coating called saponin which is very bitter. I don't think you'd enjoy eating it!



and sometimes it's just not clean...
post #10 of 52
We don't wash the Quinoa and it turns out great.... I think washing Quinoa is like trying to wash Couscous, just not an easy thing to do.
post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgnwitch View Post

Quinoa has a natural protective coating called saponin which is very bitter. I don't think you'd enjoy eating it!



Quote:
Originally Posted by gkleimman View Post

We don't wash the Quinoa and it turns out great.



These two statements seem contradictory, but I think the truth is a little complicated.



The saponin in quinoa is in the hull of the grain. The quinoa you buy in the store has been de-hulled. So it's possible that you would not get the bitter/soapy taste if you didn't wash it. Or you might, because the grains might be covered with hull dust from the de-hulling process.



It's possible that the quinoa that you buy in a box has been pre-washed, but the much less expensive kind you buy in bulk probably has not been.



I've always washed my quinoa before cooking it.
post #12 of 52
It took me a long time to learn how to like quinua.



One trick that helps is to dry roast it in the sauce pan with the vegan "chicken and meat" seasoning from CVS ( $1 ) or paprika with garlic and pepper for about 2-3 min before adding water.
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post #13 of 52
I've tried quinoa twice, both times it was bitter. I washed it, but it was a huge pain in the ass mess, I put a paper towel over the strainer to do it. The second time I also cooked it, drained it and rinsed it again before I ate it. Still bitter. I'm highly sensitive to bitter foods though.
post #14 of 52
I put it in a pot or drinking glass (for small amounts) with a lot of water, stir, and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Then pour off the water slowly. A few of the grains will float, but most will stay down.



But I stopped washing it, and it tastes fine; no bitterness at all. The bulk container I'm getting it out of at a food co-op says it needs to be washed, but maybe it's the prewashed kind?



By the way, you can cook quinoa exactly like rice-a-roni, which opens up the grains faster. In a glass container, microwave 1 cup quinoa with 2 tbl butter (or oil) for a minute, stir to get the melted butter over all the grains, put back in for 1.5 minutes. It may burn at 2 minutes, so don't overdo it. What you are doing is kind of like popcorn -- heating until the grains burst open.



Now add 2 3/4 cup water and half of the rice-a-roni seasoning packet (because you'll need to make the rice with something later). You could throw in all of it, but their seasoning packets come out too salty for my taste anyway. Microwave another 20 minutes -- uncovered (else it will boil over and make a mess).



I guess if you had a big crowd, you could throw in the rice too, and double the recipe (double butter and water). I wouldn't double the time though (maybe 1 more minute?) -- if you burn it, it's ruined!



If you are vegan, watch out for cheese on the ingredient list. I don't see chicken flavoring on any of the boxes I have (just tons of MSG); maybe they are getting veggie-aware?
post #15 of 52
What are some good ways to prepare it? Any recipes?
post #16 of 52
Nice bump after 5 years (I was going to answer "just put her into the shower", but since everything already has been said about washing quinoa, I'll just share some recipe links)

Quote:
Originally Posted by New Grandmother View Post

What are some good ways to prepare it? Any recipes?

Any ways in which you would use rice or bulgur wheat. As a side, in substantial salads, as a pilaf, in a casserole, as a breakfast porridge, RecipeZaar has 98 vegan quinoa recipes alone, for example:

Quinoa Tabouli

Quinoa Black Bean Salad
post #17 of 52
The quinoa i buy at the Natural Foods Mkt says on the box that it is already washed. The salad I make with it turns out great with no bitter taste. The last time I prepared it I tossed the cooked quinoa with a can of drained and rinsed red kidney beans, some raw broccoli florets, diced red bell pepper, a little italian dressing and some fresh lemon juice.
post #18 of 52
I need help. I am about to start my third attempt to prepare quinoa, the other two times it was still bitter. I rinsed it in a metal strainer for a good 10 minutes alternating between hot and cold water the first time. The second time I tried rubbing each seed with a paper towel after rinsing for a couple minutes. I am thinking about moving on to more drastic measures and possibly giving it a soapy bath. I do not want to soak the quinoa as I think the bitterness may soak into the seed. Does anyone have any ideas?



Thanks!
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by amy123 View Post

...The second time I tried rubbing each seed with a paper towel after rinsing for a couple minutes. I am thinking about moving on to more drastic measures and possibly giving it a soapy bath...



post #20 of 52
Try your quinoa without rinsing it. Often the quinoa at the store has already had the saponin rinsed off.
post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by amy123 View Post

I need help. I am about to start my third attempt to prepare quinoa, the other two times it was still bitter. I rinsed it in a metal strainer for a good 10 minutes alternating between hot and cold water the first time. The second time I tried rubbing each seed with a paper towel after rinsing for a couple minutes. I am thinking about moving on to more drastic measures and possibly giving it a soapy bath. I do not want to soak the quinoa as I think the bitterness may soak into the seed. Does anyone have any ideas?



Thanks!



Oh wow.... Have you tried buying quinoa from a different source? You also may just be so sensitive to the bitterness that you don't like quinoa. Have you tried it prepared anywhere else?
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by amy123 View Post

I need help. I am about to start my third attempt to prepare quinoa, the other two times it was still bitter. I rinsed it in a metal strainer for a good 10 minutes alternating between hot and cold water the first time. The second time I tried rubbing each seed with a paper towel after rinsing for a couple minutes. I am thinking about moving on to more drastic measures and possibly giving it a soapy bath. I do not want to soak the quinoa as I think the bitterness may soak into the seed. Does anyone have any ideas?



Thanks!



I've never EVER had to wash it for that long or go to such measures. Have you had quinoa before? Maybe you just don't like it? I would try it from a different source and see what happens
post #23 of 52
Some people are just very sensitive to even a trace amount of bitterness. I think that's been established by the varied and drastically different reactions in this and many other quinoa threads.
post #24 of 52
i'm lazy. i hardly ever wash quinoa and i can't taste the difference between washed quinoa and unwashed. maybe try cooking it in veggie broth if you haven't to improve the taste. if your looking to try a different brand, i use arrowhead mills quinoa and love it.
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post #25 of 52
wow...i have never had this and want to try it...thanx for all the info much appreciated
post #26 of 52
The coating on quinoa can make you very ill. If the package does not say pre washed.... wash it.
post #27 of 52
If you find washing/ rinsing to be a pain, there are "pre-washed" kinds available. Thats what i get, cuz im too lazy to rinse it!
post #28 of 52
Has anyone tried growing quinoa? I bought some seeds to grow some this year, I'm still pretty new to growing veggies so I'm hoping it will be ok. I love it but its just sooo expensive to buy in the shops, I thought I'd save some money by growing my own
post #29 of 52
Quinoa is expensive. I bought some red quinoa at the HF coop and it was more than $2.50 per pound... on sale. I rinsed some and cooked it- just put it in a bowl with water and then drained the water off carefully- and then cooked some without rinsing. There really wasn't much difference in taste, and it didn't make me sick either time... although (this might be too much information)...



Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I did see quinoa hulls in my... solid waste...

"Ground Control to Major Tom.... Ground Control to Major Tom...

Take your protein pills and put your helmet on...."

David Bowie- "Space Oddity"

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"Ground Control to Major Tom.... Ground Control to Major Tom...

Take your protein pills and put your helmet on...."

David Bowie- "Space Oddity"

Reply
post #30 of 52
How to clean quinoa:

Place about 1 cup (200 gms) of quinoa into a wide-mouth quart jar. (A canning funnel makes this very easy to do.)

Apply a fine screen sprouting lid – the size that works for alfalfa seeds.

Add water, swirl around, drain, repeat several times.

Place jar forcefully on counter top several times to shake loose seeds from lid.

Take off sprout lid. Dump quinoa into cooking pot, remove most of seeds from the jar with a spatula.

Put 1 cup of water (240 ml) into quart jar, swirl around to remove rest of the seeds. Repeat with 1 more cup of water.

Now 99% of the seeds should be clean and in the pot with the right amount of water.

Cook and enjoy!
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